‘The Masked Singer’ Host Nick Cannon Teases the Mysterious Celebrity Performers

Michael Becker / FOX

What the—? “It’s a mystery show, it’s a competition show, it’s a singing show,” explains host Nick Cannon of this oddity (based on a South Korean format). So, 12 celebrities perform…while covered head-to-toe in hypnotically detailed costumes.

One singer is eliminated — then unmasked! — each week on the basis of audience votes and panel opinions from singers Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke and comic actors Jenny McCarthy and Ken Jeong. Any more questions?

What’s Up With Those Outfits?

Emmy-winning costume designer Marina Toybina (she’s behind Katy Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl halftime looks) took things to the “next level,” says Cannon. “The costumes actually describe who [the disguised singers] are. There are clues!”

Who’s Under There?

Not just Grammy winners but other entertainers and pro athletes. Before performing, the singers offer up cryptic hints via a voice distorter. “They’re from all walks of life,” Cannon says. “Even the characters don’t know who the other characters are.”

What’s The Endgame?

A trophy goes to the ultimate victor, along with bragging rights. “People are already rich and famous,” says Cannon. “They don’t need more money!”

The Masked Singer, Series Premiere, Wednesday, January 2, 9/8c, Fox